During June, the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) celebrates National Blood Donor Month, with 14 June being World Blood Donor Day. During this month, WCBS endeavours to raise awareness about the need for safe blood and blood products and the importance of blood donation.
This year the World Health Organisation (WHO) theme is “Give blood and keep the world beating”, the message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health, with particular focus on encouraging the youth to donate blood.
In recent years, approximately 1% of the population of the Western Cape made up the blood donor population. During 2020, this figure decreased to 0.86%. Ideally 1-2% of the population should donate blood. During the COVID-19 pandemic the blood donation collections at schools, tertiaries and corporate clinics were curtailed which mainly led to the decrease.
‘Currently, we are not meeting our daily collection target of 700 units of blood. The province’s blood usage has increased, and winter always adds additional pressure on the blood supply due to our regular blood donors suffering from colds and flu and subsequently being unable to donate blood’, says Marike Gevers, Public Relations Manager of WCBS. The WCBS wants to encourage all healthy existing and potential blood donors who fulfil the basic donor criteria to donate blood this National Blood Donor Month and save up to 3 lives with 1 donation. They are also appealing to the youth to please donate blood and inspire others to do the same; we really need you!
If you are between the ages of 16 and 75, weigh 50kg or more, are in good general health, lead a safe sexual lifestyle and would like to save three lives in just 30 minutes, you should be able to donate.
To find your closest blood donation clinic, please download the app on Android and iOS, send us a WhatsApp on 060 549 7244 or visit www.wcbs.org.za for more information.
Do something remarkable, donate blood and keep the world beating.